Media Watch: Korean Dramas – How the Media Creates or Changes Perceptions

Language Skills

I started watching these shows, since Hulu added this category. What’s interesting to me, is that I’m beginning to understand what the characters are saying in Korean. Words are floating around in my head, because they’re repeated so often. I can read a few words in some languages, but I’ve never picked up a language as fast as this one. I’ve always viewed myself as foreign language impaired. I’ve had Spanish in school. I’ve listened to Spanish for years, and I still cannot make heads or tails out of most of it.

In the Korean Dramas, the people speak slow enough that I can tie the English subtitles to the spoken words. The dialogue isn’t complex, very long or involved. On occasion, some characters that supposedly spent time in the US, or are Americans, make a determined effort speak to English. Although badly. Nearly everyone mumbles words they need to enunciate.

Media Image is Everything

Since watching these programs, I’ve come to realize that they aren’t made just for a Korean audience. They are created with an awareness that the rest of the world will be paying attention.

These shows have given me a different impression of Koreans, as opposed to the ones I’ve been acquainted with here in the USA. Do I see the portrayals as realistic? I don’t think that’s the point of the programs. Whatever images there have been of Korean men, have been modified, if not overhauled, by these shows.

According to a Washington Post article (from 2006), the success of the revamped or enhanced image of Korean men have done the following:

In recent years, the wild success of male celebrities from South Korea — sensitive men but totally ripped — has redefined what Asian women wantGone are the martial arts movie heroes and the stereotypical macho men of mainstream Asian television.

…Yoshimura signed up last year with Rakuen Korea, a Japanese-Korean matchmaking service, to find her own Korean bachelor. And she is hardly alone. More than 6,400 female clients have signed up with the company…

In part, the new allure of Korean men can be traced to a larger phenomenon known as the “Korean Wave”…

…the number of foreign tourists traveling to South Korea leapt from 2.8 million in 2003 to 3.7 million in 2004. The bulk of the growth, South Korean tourism officials say, stemmed from Korean Wave-loving Asian women. Partial statistics for 2005 indicate the feminine tide has not yet let up.

For the South Koreanswho have long suffered discrimination in Japan and who have hardly been known as sex symbolsit all comes as something of a shock.

Entertainment industry leaders in Seoul credit the phenomenon to good marketing coupled with an uncanny response throughout Asia to the expressive nature of the South Koreans — long dubbed the Italians of Asia. A hearty diet and two years of forced military duty, industry leaders and fans insist, have also made young South Korean men among the buffest in Asia. Most important, however, has been the South Korean entertainment industry’s perfection of the strong, silent type on screen — typically rich, kind men with coincidentally striking looks and a tendency to shower women with unconditional love….

Throughout Asia and other countries, women are watching TV shows and movies to such an extent that they have become enamored of the fictional representation of a specific group of men. So here we have proof that there is a direct connection between a positive image of a group and the corresponding response to it.

What Some of the Guys Look Like

I find some of the Korean male actors smoking hot, some cute and others moderately good looking. Although I find the “fashion” on the shows rather odd looking, but hey, I congratulate men who aren’t afraid of being edgy.

Cha Seung Won

Cha Seung Won: He's able to look so different each time.
Jung Gyu Woon: I have yet to see a show where he doesn't end up fighting.

 

Kim Sung Soo: Love those lips. Puts my dirty mind into overdrive.

 

Kang Ji Hwan
Kang Ji Hwan: I love his nose.

 

Positive propaganda: is enhancing imagery to increase the desirability of a group.

The entertainment industry, basically the media, alone is responsible for the complete overhaul of the image of Korean men, so much so it has made the men hot commodities for the women who travel the country looking for one as a husband. It’s overturned reality and made such an indelible impression on women just from watching Korean Dramas.

In case you ever wonder why black women have negative, degrading stereotypical images, always remember to thank Hollywood and our media. Think about it the next time you think it’s important to embrace the “othering” of black women with those “keeping it real” negative images.

If anyone really wants to improve the desirability, popularity and increase of desire for black women: the best looking have to be highlighted, the most sophisticated has to be highlighted and the most engaging, lively and lovely ones have to be embraced.

Otherwise, we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot.

So, think about who you are embracing if the only thing they highlight about black women is constantly negative or off-putting. Those people aren’t doing you any favors. They’re deliberately sabotaging you.

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Update: Korean Men Marriage Rates

I was asked to provide some data, so I dug up some stats. If they seem funky to anyone, please put up the correct numbers.

Throughout the world, more males than females are born. This imbalance is natural. However, in Asian countries it is exasperated by female reduction from sex selection in the womb (abortion), export adoption of girls, and other extreme methods. The result is a population of males outnumbering females. Based on the gender imbalance in Korea, social changes, population movement to urban areas, there are more men than women available and interested in marriage.

So, whom do Korean men marry? Funny enough, it turns out they marry all women. Although black women are a miniscule portion of the population in Korea, there are likely marriages between the two. With the USA having 1.3 plus million Koreans, it turns out that they are the East Asian men black women are most likely to marry. Certainly not in significant numbers overall, but it does happens.

And I’m just as surprised as y’all are by that information.

In 2005, 14% of all marriages in South Korea were marriages to foreigners (about 26,000 marriages); most were Korean men marrying other Asians. Government figures show the number of Koreans marrying foreign spouses increased from 4,710 in 1990 to 33,300 in 2009. And numbers are expected to continue rising. More than 100,000 women among South Korea’s 1.2-million foreign population are estimated to be foreign brides.

Bonus

YouTube link: the marriage between a Korean man and an African American woman. The wedding is awesome; sexy and sweet too.

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Black Women: Why is the Wall Street Journal, and the media, still talking about our marriage prospects?

I liked this comment by Daphne so much, I made it a separate post. Check out the following.

Regarding the WSJ* article making the rounds:

I found it bizarre that this was in the The Wall Street Journal*, just like I thought it was bizarre there was a similar article about black women in The Economist** several months (maybe a year?) ago. To me, it reeks of “let us observe these strange creatures known as black women,” similar to zoo animals.

Plus, the author’s subtext is disturbing: more black women should marry out, to potentially improve the rates of black marriage. To me, marriage is a non-sequitur in this context, particularly given that some serious cultural issues aren’t magically repaired by marriage (i.e. ability and desire to provide, being an effective father, knowing HOW to maintain a relationship). I mean, I’d hate for a black woman to have her black man propose primarily because he’s afraid of her being taken off the market rather than….wait for it, actually wanting to be married and prepared for that stage. Not to mention how unfair it is for a non-black man to be a consolation prize because a black man isn’t available or willing to marry. But hey….as long as they’re married, I guess.

I get the supply/demand, economics side of it: more black women date out, fewer are available to black men, black men step up their game. Which is fine, for future generations, I suppose. But for the women NOW who want the best partner for them, it’s entirely possible that even willing black men aren’t the best partners because of the aforementioned cultural issues.

I also give the side-eye to any author who misuses statistics, which the WSJ author did in a major way. That 70% of unmarried black women? Includes widows and the divorced. It is also includes age 15 and up. You would think a law professor would either dig a little deeper with the stats or be more more precise in using them.

Now, I’m not denying cultural differences between whites and blacks with the marriage rate. But it’s certainly convenient for these article to throw out that 70%, as if nobody wants da po’ black woman. Not to mention using the quotes of THREE black women as representative of the majority. And when you correct for college education, the marriage disparity between black and white women is significantly smaller.

Thank you for the contribution and sparking this post, Daphne. 🙂

GoldenAh:

That article does have an air of “What can we do about these black women no one wants?”, right? 😀

As far back as the 1990s, perhaps even earlier, the NY Times periodically ran articles about the large number of college educated unmarried black women without children along with the high rate of out-of-wedlock births of single black women.

The angle changes somewhat, but it still has the familiar reek of: Black women’s relationships are a problem for society. Although I suspect they really mean, Black women’s existence is a problem for society.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Breaking It Down

You did a terrific job of nailing what’s wrong with the WSJ article. It’s not doing us any favors, but it wasn’t meant to anyway. This article insults a number of people, but the main recipients are black women and white men.

Imagine if there was a shortage of marriageable partners for white men, and black women were offered up as the last choice, second rate hope for them, because it would improve their group’s prospects with other, or the same race of, women? Even though they purportedly have a white woman shortage.

Say, what kind of logic is that?

  1. Logic that reinforces a negative image of black women. So, no surprise a black man wrote that article for a major newspaper that reaches around the world. Anything for a couple of dollars to denigrate black women is not a hard task for some black men. Regardless of how well meaning he thinks is.
  2. The logic is to continue presenting black women as racially, socially and bizarrely backward thinking: we’re worried about our HAIR, the complexions of our children, and our inability to be comfortable with non-black men. Oh, what superficial, silly, non-normal, non-female creatures we are. We are still “othering” ourselves. Those selected black women presents an image of people living in a self-imposed prison who lack any sense to free themselves of it.
  3. The logic used is a sneaky backhanded method of blaming black women for the lower rate of black marriage compared to other racial groups. The author cannot directly say that black women must do the asking, since to a mainstream audience it would be outside the norm and viewed as ridiculous. Instead, he indirectly makes the case for marrying non-black men, again like we could make them marry us somehow, to prompt black men into asking.

The key ingredient missing from the entire WSJ article is, What makes a black woman happy? What would make her feel good? What are the ways to approach her if she appears socially remote? Examples of their femininity, their normalcy, or exotic allure, would be enticing to the non-black  men reading the WSJ to look at black women positively. It would peal away at least one thin layer of separation between black women and non-black men.

However, making black women attractive, approachable and normal was not the intention of the article.

As you’ve noted, Daphne, the actual  purpose is: How do we eventually get black men to do X, Y, and Z? Because it always has to be about them, beginning, middle and ending. People need to let that go and forget about closing the barn door.  The horse that ran out is now a great-great-grand mare to her offspring. Black men cannot be cajoled, conned or bribed into marrying black women, especially when they have no desire or interest to do so.

Black women have to be happy on their own terms.  I’d respect the mainstream media if there were more articles pertaining to black women, without the insincere hand-wringing, making their own decision to integrate intimately with non-black men: by working with, making friends with, dating and marrying them. And solely for their own benefit.

 


 

* The Wall Street Journal – An Interracial Fix for Black Marriage

** The Economist Article – Print Edition – Sex and the single black woman

** The Economist Article – Blog – The unintended consequences of mass incarceration

 

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Black Women – Devil’s Advocate: Are Black Males Real Men?

It’s September, and it’s Devil’s Advocate* month.

I was sent a link to this picture. Thanks Chocholatestar. 😀

We don’t know who created it, but it does beg the question: Are black males real men? People like to pretend that out of wedlock (OOW) births are an issue that is the sole responsibility of, and problem for, black women to resolve. It is not. Although black people love to embrace this particular myth, I need to repeat this fact to shatter it. Black culture or societies, whether in America, or around the world are NOT matriarchal. It never has been. Not by accident, not by default, and not by design.

It is a man’s world. Always has been, always will be. People enjoy tossing the words “strong black woman” and matriarchal around to hide a glaringly obvious defect: black males are failing as men. Their sole competitors are other men, not black women. Socially, economically, and developmentally they are lagging behind. Black women cannot fix that problem for them. No matter how financially generous, emotionally supportive, abject, submissive, relentlessly hyper-critical and abnegating of self – you cannot lift nor mold an “adult” black male into a man. It is self-destructive. It is the core of dysfunction.

Years ago, a radio talk show host I was listening to, without an ounce of political correctness in his body, made the following joke:

Question: “What is Father’s Day called in the black community?”

Answer: “Who’s My Daddy Day.”

So not only does a national talk show host know about the situation, it’s considered a joke. Despite what people may think: the joke is on black males, not black women.

Recently, a football coach of a prominent college mentioned that the only recruits that interest him are those with a father involved in his life. I think the coach was one of the few people talking about a strategy that people already utilize without giving voice to. Despite the polite chatter of the mass media, in real life people are quietly and severely penalizing the OOW offspring of black males.

Why? Because if they don’t care about their children, why should they expect others to?

Which brings me to this point: why mess with a male who statistically is predisposed not to marry, provide protection, bring resources to the relationship, offer support, or bother to raise his own children? Jill Scott may wince at “brothas” who are marrying non-black women, but she willingly had a child for one with a I-Am-Irresponsible neon sign over his head.

Is she a masochist? Perhaps.

Black women, do yourselves a favor, don’t join the masochists’ club(s). You are entitled to be happy. Don’t let anybody tell you that you are selfish, greedy, mercenary, a gold digger or desperate, because you seek a MAN who is going to do the things that most normal men around the world automatically do: marry, provide for their families, and raise their children.

Always consider this: there are millions of illegal immigrant MEN willing to face murderous gangs, cross a deadly border, walk for thousands of miles in the desert, eagerly join our military, and work from dust to dawn at sub-minimum wages just to send their meager earnings home to feed, clothe, and shelter HIS WIFE and KIDS.

Why? Because that’s what REAL MEN do.

*According to Wikipedia, Devil’s Advocate is:

In common parlance, a devil’s advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with, just for the sake of argument. In taking such position, the individual taking on the devil’s advocate role seeks to engage others in an argumentative discussion process. The purpose of such process is typically to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure, and to use such information to either improve or abandon the original, opposing position.
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For Black Women: Please Have Sex With White Men

That got your attention, didn’t it?

Apparently, my old, old post Why White Men are a Better Choice was interpreted (by the mentally handicapped and functionally illiterate) as a heartfelt plea for black women everywhere to sex it up with all the nearest and available white men.

It seems that I’ve been successful at convincing “quality good black women” to go find themselves a white man and ignore all the “good black men” a.k.a. purple unicorns out there. I had no idea I had so much power.

Will everyone please help make me a multimillionaire?

I never mentioned sex. I mentioned marriage. Quite delightfully, black women who are married to or dating white men provided the most lovely, heartfelt and wonderful testimonies and feedback. Nearly all of them wanted or had a husband, nearly each and every one of them was reasonably happy with a man, who happened to be white, who treated them with respect, love, devotion, and protection (emotional and financial).

As far I’m concerned, a happy black woman is a wonderful thing. Interesting how people who worry about black women having sex with white men, never concern themselves with her happiness. Well, it’s because they don’t care about black women in the first place, but we already know that.

You’ve Heard This Propaganda Before

I’ll briefly go over the reasons people are against black women / white men unions. Tell me if it all doesn’t sound familiar.

In the following paragraphs, the “he” I’m referring to is a white man.

  1. He (the white man) just wants sex. Ans. So? Men like sex.  So do a healthy number of women. I’d be disturbed if a guy was with me and didn’t want sex. I don’t mean jump in the sack immediately, but if he never showed any attraction, I’d be like: What’s up with that?
  2. He’ll use you and leave you. Ans. Black women are having more children out of wedlock with the “brothas” than those married to purple unicorns.
    • LeBron James recently referred to his baby mama as a “sidekick”. Isn’t he supposed to be a purple unicorn? He’s leaving the sidekick and spawn behind while he seeks out lighter and brighter pastures in Miami. Anyone want to put money on a bet that his next chick will be Latina or white and he’ll want to marry her?
  3. White men raped our great-great-(number of greats may vary) grandmothers. Ans. I wont trivialize slavery or Jim Crow or any era people suffered through. However, I’m not a slave, and I’m not living in the past.
    • Today’s white man isn’t the one raping and abusing black women in record numbers (see Dunbar Village and other atrocities). Plus, with the number of black men chasing down, co-habitating, and marrying white women, it is apparent the “brothas” have forgiven white women for getting black men lynched back in those days.
    • Black men have no problem treating white women like queens, giving them all of his money, and by extension white men. I’ve always noticed that if a negro makes a lot of money, the first thing he’ll do is find a white woman to give it to.
    • So what’s wrong with a black woman being with a white man who will marry her, stay around to raise the kids, provide financial support, and all that good stuff?
  4. His johnson is pink. Ans. Don’t underestimate the power of pink. Your stuff is pink too. (TMI coming: the color of his johnson may vary anyway.)
  5. His johnson isn’t big. Ans. How would you know the actual johnson size of 100 plus million men? Yes, that’s right there are over 100 million white men in America. Do all the black men who keep telling you this: have they peeked at all of them? Do all the black women who claim this: have they slept with all of them? And why are they obsessed with that?
  6. He can’t satisfy a black woman. Ans. At least he’s willing to use his tongue. For hours. Nuff said.
  7. It hurts black men to see black women with white men. Ans. Do any of those negroes out there who talk about how perfectly beautiful or hot the Kardashians, or any white women they are with, worry about any black women’s feelings? Don’t you get tired of hearing: “Black women are this and that – that’s why I only date white women”?
    • Whether the black male is a family relation, friend, or a stranger you call a “brotha” who you date, sex, mate, and marry is really NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Their overinflated, easily bruised, excessively touchy, delicate and fragile egos are not worth the PRICE OF YOUR HAPPINESS. Frankly, if these negroes aren’t taking care of you and yours they need to GET LOST with a quickness.
    • Their opinions aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit, and mine isn’t either. I’m certainly not here to tell you what to do.
  8. White men don’t find black women attractive, or they will not make you a wife. Ans. Does the number who are attracted really matter? You only need one good man.
    • White men / black women have the lowest rates of divorce, even over white men with white women, and especially black men married to anybody even black women. Your own personal mileage will vary.
    • At least with white men you can statistically find one that will actually like your hair, your complexion, your beautiful skin, your loving spirited personality, and just be into you, because you are an AWESOME BLACK WOMAN.
  9. Your children will grow up confused. Ans. This last one is my hypothesis: folks just don’t want to see the children of black women by white men receive the kind of privileges some white children have. If all black kids are in dire straights together people are comforted by that. However, if the exception turns out to be these children….
  10. Good black men exist! Ya’ll just want thugs. Ans. I never said disregard purple unicorns. If a black woman, or anybody, can find those extra 2 million plus purple unicorns that black women need for companionship, then wonderful!!! You’ve achieved a major miracle.

Now, that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll repeat the header: Please have sex with white men.

***
Update: I’m always thrilled to get input by men. Frank M. just knocks it out of the park!

Betty.  I decided to write my own answers for their arguments.  Feel free to use or just read if you’re interested.

1.    He (the white man) just wants sex. Ans.  Companionship, friendship, and emotional support during good times and bad are just as important in any relationship.  BW, in my experience, are fiercely loyal and supportive to those they love, so choosing to date a BW is NOT just about sex.  How can BM use this argument with a straight face with all the fatherless kids running around the BC anyway?  If anyone has PROVEN (through their actions) and promoted (through their music) that they just want sex, it’s BM.

2.    White men raped our great-great-(number of greats may vary) grandmothers. Ans. What is more of a danger to a BW today?  A man who has been dead for a hundreds of years??  Or the group of men harassing her on the street today?  BM don’t rape?  African countries are dealing with rape at epidemic proportions.  And that is in within THIS decade.  Rape within the black community in America is swept under the rug, but we all know it exists.  I would argue that within the last 100 years, rape of BW is done by BM, not WM.

3.    His johnson is pink. Ans. Actually it’s light brown, but thanks for being interested. LOL

GoldenAh: I fell out of my chair at this one. 😀

4.    His johnson isn’t big. Ans.  Judging by the compliments I’ve received from bw in bed, it’s big ENOUGH.  LOL.  All jokes aside, part of the reason BM are in the position they are in is because they judge too much of their masculinity and pride on something that doesn’t define a man.  Being a man is about a lot more than your physical body.  Choosing to identify all of your self-worth on one body part you had no control over is idiotic.  This myth came from racists attempting to scare WW out of fornicating with blacks due to potential injury.

As humorous as that sounds, BM took this racist myth and made it a source of pride.   They did the same thing with the “N” word.  Neither of those reversals of racist ideas has benefited BM or black people in general.  It’s time to let go of both of these.  Most of us (non-BM) aren’t buying it anymore either.  We’ve seen too many examples of BM who aren’t packing and it only gives all the average-sized BM an unnecessary inferiority complex that leads them to try and “prove” their manhood by acting like hyper-sexual, aggressive, violent homophobes or the super black militant crazies who secretly date WW.  LOL Ok that last part was my personal theory.

5.    He can’t satisfy a black woman. Ans.  (Rolls eyes)  Why?  Are they are different species?  Didn’t seem all that difficult to me.  If they keep coming back for more, maybe I’m doing something right?  I’ve met tall, thick, big-hipped women with smaller “canals” so the idea that they can’t be satisfied due to body type is ridiculous.

GoldenAh: Men can be so frank. 😀

6.    It hurts black men to see black women with white men. Ans. Whose issue is that?  Hers?  Or yours.  Get over it.  Seeing WW with BM makes me feel nothing.  She doesn’t belong to me, and I don’t possess her just because we happen to have a similar skin tone.  Once again, get over it.  Stop living in the past, plz. Thx.

7.    White men don’t find black women attractive, or they will not make you a wife. Ans. I am a heterosexual man, therefore, I am attracted to WOMEN, of any race.  I can’t help it, it’s in my biology.  Neither can women.  If anyone to say they are not attracted to an entire ethnicity, they are LYING .  As for making a BW a wife?  Hundreds of thousands of WM have and it is the fastest growing IR union in the USA. Theory over?

8.    Your children will grow up confused. Ans. Children are individuals, and they can only be confused if they allow themselves to be confused by listening to negative/divisive opinions about who they are or should be.  Think Obama is “confused”?  Seems like a pretty well-adjusted evolved human to me.  “Pure-raced” young people feel confused all the time so that theory holds no water for me.

9.     Good black men exist! Ya’ll just want thugs. Ans. Wrong.  Women want confident, secure individuals with strength.  If thugs are the only BM’s projecting these qualities, then those of you weaker (Beta) BM might need to work on your self-confidence and attraction skills.

Also, in the white community, the alpha males are the most successful, not the least.  You won’t see them them hanging out on street corners looking “fly” or languishing in prison. And for the BM who are doing legitimately well, they seem to choose the lightest, brightest BW or non-BW who will have them.  This doesn’t leave a lot of attractive BM’s for BW to choose from.

What are they supposed to do?  Or that’s right, wait for you to come along, so you can string them along until you are done using them for your own personal desires. LOL I think BW are finally wising up to that game.

GoldenAh: As we can see here, even by casual observation a white man can see the game being played on black women. Wooo.

Awesome feedback, Frank M. Thanks.

😀

***

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